“I guess your Saturday ride wasn’t too fun, since you didn’t write about it yet,” remarked Jill at the refuel stop on our Wednesday ride today.
“Oh no – it was loads and loads of unimaginable fun, I have just been too lazy to write it up,” Heather responded. See, Jill claimed to have “other plans” for the Saturday ride, and I had promised her it would be so ridiculously fun, she’d be forever jealous and disappointed she didn’t join us. It was certainly a gorgeous day for a ride, and the route through the sights of La Jolla did not disappoint.
A total of 14 riders joined the A/B ride, which started at Carbon Connection and rode a very solid 62 miles. The C ride started at the Gliderport at the top of Torrey Pines and enjoyed the same La Jolla Loop as the A/B ride, for about 22 miles.
We had a nice cruise down the coast, and I managed to (for the most part) keep my cool in the face of runners 3 or 4 across the bike lane, all wearing ear phones, refusing to give way. There were no elbow checking incidents this week (I’m keeping your secret, you-kn0w-who), and there was plenty of convivial conversation.
The first and main challenge of the ride came in the form of Torrey Pines, which comes about twenty miles south of our starting point. Everyone ascended it with ease, and I was told by several of the women that it was the easiest Torrey Pines ascent they’d experienced. It definitely helps to have someone keeping you company through the pain! This was our main regrouping spot, so we could stick together through the many twists and turns of our La Jolla Tour. Here are some fresh looking faces following the Torrey Pines slog.
The La Jolla Shores descent has to be one of the more scenic, enjoyable descents around. It’s a little too easy to get distracted by the twinkling expanse of blue as you twist down the hill, with the town of La Jolla nestled around the cove. Don’t forget to watch for a few well-placed potholes on the way!
Our first stop of the day is one of my favorite spots in the county, although that day it really delivered on its oft-ripe smell – the La Jolla Cove. You really, really don’t want to go have a fish luncheon after visiting the cove, well, at least, you shouldn’t want to. It was rather pungent that morning, but both groups had a chance to snap a few shots of the relaxing sea lions.
Unfortunately, on our way to the cove, Denise managed to jam her chain down into the crevice between the chain ring and the frame. There were many valiant and greasy efforts made to dislodge the chain (thanks especially to Kim for the careful effort), but the chain would not budge. We were sad to lose Denise from the group, and it was especially frustrating as we were just about to start the “best part” of the ride. Hopefully she has managed to get it fixed up without any damage to the bike. We always hate when we can’t fix a problem!
We skirted the coast farther south, and breezed by Bird Rock before turning slightly away from the coast to head down through Pacific Beach to the Bayside Walk trail. As locals, we don’t generally find ourselves enjoying these types of trails that usually attract those on vacation, but it’s sometimes refreshing to see your hometown through fresh eyes. You cannot go very fast on this trail, with all the cruisers, walkers, kids on bikes, etc, but it definitely is a fun vantage point to view all the activity at the Mission bay parks and on the water itself. We followed the trail through Crown Point, and exited at the far east end where it dumps almost directly onto a bridge that takes you to Mission Bay Park proper, and then we took the quick left on the Rose Creek Bike Path.
The Rose Creek Bike Path dumps you out at the intersection of Mission Bay Drive and Damon Avenue, where conveniently for hungry cyclists, there’s an In-n-Out! I called back to the crew to see if anyone wanted to stop for something deliciously sinful, but surprisingly there were no takers! I am hoping maybe next time there will be!
Taking Santa Fe to the Rose Canyon Bike Trail, we worked our way up Gilman and then through the UCSD campus back to the start of the La Jolla Tour near the top of Torrey Pines. After reaching this point, the return route to Carlsbad was definitely at a little bit brisker pace than the ride south. The ride finished strong with an excellent time had by all (at least, I hope so!).
Thanks goes out to Michell and Julie for the pictures, and to Heather K, Michell, and Julie for help leading the rides.
Join us this Saturday when we head to Rancho Santa Fe (RSVP)!